Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint unlimited plans compared – CNET

On Friday, Sprint added a modern tier to its inexhaustible data plans called Unlimited Premium that includes Amazon Prime, Hulu, Tidal and a 50GB LTE mobile hot spot. The new plan will cost $ 90 a calendar month and be the ship’s company ‘s most expensive design and even for what ‘s include one of the better values offered by any carrier. This announcement falls on the heels of T-Mobile adding the Essentials unlimited data design which, at $ 60 a calendar month, is basically a cheaper translation of the T-Mobile One plan without the detached Netflix and international data. Both T-Mobile ‘s Essentials design and Sprint ‘s outright agio plan are among the more than a twelve inexhaustible data plans offered by the four major US carriers. Keeping lead of the changing inexhaustible plans, prices and features can be exhausting. That ‘s why we ‘re here. For over a year, the outright datum wars between AT & T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have been heated to say the least. Each one tries to outdo the others in terms of price and how much data you actually get. On the one hand, outright data is like a bottomless cup of coffee bean at a diner : At some steer you ‘ll be cut off. On the early bridge player, many people do n’t actually need all that data — or coffee bean for that topic. For most people, these big data plans should be more than adequate. But to make sense of what you actually get, we compared the unlimited plans from AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon and all the fine mark that came with them.

Editors’ note : This article was originally published on Feb. 13, 2017. Since that meter, AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all announced multiple changes to their outright data plans. The data below reflects the prices and features of inexhaustible plans as of Sept. 4, 2018 .

Data limits, prioritization and throttling

The outright plans from the big four carriers all come with unlimited speak, texting and data — oh, if only things were that square. But there ‘s a catch — when you hit a certain data specify, your 4G LTE data speeds can be slowed temporarily or for the remainder of the charge cycle. Some carriers like Verizon send your data needs to the back of the line. here ‘s how each carrier handles prioritization and throttling when you cross your data restrict :

Verizon : “ We may prioritize your data behind other Verizon customers during network congestion. ” T-Mobile : “ On all T-Mobile plans, during congestion, the small fraction of customers using more than 50GB per calendar month may notice reduced speeds until future circular cycle due to prioritization. ” AT & T : “ On AT & T Unlimited & More premium, after 22GB of data use on a line in a circular cycle, for the remainder of the cycle a customer may temporarily experience reduced speeds on that line during times of network congestion. On AT & T Unlimited & More, for all data usage, customer may temporarily experience reduced speeds on these wrinkle ( second ) during times of network congestion. ” dash : “ Customers who use more than 50GB of data during a charge cycle will be ‘deprioritized ‘ during times & places where the Sprint net is constrained. ”

Cost for a single line

obviously, one of the reasons outright plans exist is to offer lots of data at a fair price — reasonable enough to beat overage charges. here ‘s what a unmarried line of outright data on each carrier costs. Sprint ‘s unlimited Plus at $ 70 per month and T-Mobile ‘s One Plus at $ 80 per calendar month are two of the best values giving you hotspot data and 1080p HD video pour — the higher monetary value of the T-Mobile plan includes taxes, fees and surcharges .Woman paying bills by phone Peter Cade/Getty Images A few notes on these plans :

  • The plans for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon do not include taxes, surcharges or additional fees. These vary wildly depending on where you live.
  • All of the plans include an autopay discount: $5 a month for Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon and $10 a month for AT&T.
  • T-Mobile Essentials, T-Mobile One, Sprint Unlimited Basic and Verizon gounlimited plans limit you to standard-definition video and only 3G hotspot support.
  • AT&T’s Unlimited &More plan limits you to standard-definition video with streaming speeds capped at 1.5 Mbps and doesn’t include hotspot data.
  • All the carriers included streaming services to sweeten their unlimited plans. These plans range from a 6-month free trial of Apple Music by Verizon to Amazon Prime, Hulu and Tidal included in Sprint’s Unlimited Plus plan.

Comparison of individual line unlimited data plans with autopay discounts applied

Carrier Unlimited data monthly cost Data limit Video streaming — up to Hotspot allowance Bundled streaming services included
Sprint Unlimited Basic $60 50GB/month 480p SD 500MB Hulu Limited Commercials
T-Mobile Essentials $60 50GB/month 480p SD 3G data speeds only none
Sprint Unlimited Plus $70 50GB/month 1080p HD 15GB Amazon Prime, Hulu Limited Commercials, Tidal Premium
T-Mobile One $70 50GB/month 480p SD 3G data speeds only Netflix Standard with 2 lines or more
AT&T Unlimited &More $70 22GB/month 480p SD none WatchTV (live TV)
Verizon “gounlimited” $75 none 480p SD 3G data speeds only Apple Music for 6 months
T-Mobile One Plus $80 50GB/month 1080p HD 10GB Netflix Standard with 2 lines or more
AT&T Unlimited &More Premium $80 22GB/month 1080p HD 15GB 1 premiun channel and WatchTV (live TV)
Verizon “beyondunlimited” $85 22GB/month 720p HD 15GB Apple Music for 6 months
Sprint Unlimited Premium $90 50GB/month 1080p HD 50GB Amazon Prime, Hulu Limited Commercials, Tidal Premium
Verizon “aboveunlimited” $95 75GB/month 720p HD 20GB Apple Music for 6 months

Taxes, fees and surcharges

T-Mobile has done away with the taxes, fees and surcharges that earphone plans normally have — kind of. The mailman simplified pricing for its customers by folding those extra costs into the monetary value of its plans. So a $ 60 per calendar month plan on T-Mobile actually costs $ 60. obviously, if you ‘re financing your earphone your bill will besides include that price .

AT & T, Sprint and Verizon data design prices do not include taxes, surcharges or extra fees. Trying to estimate how much these will cost you is a study in patience because these extra costs vary quite a act depending on where you live. To help this, each carrier has a locate to help you estimate how much it those charges will be : AT & T, Sprint and Verizon .

Cost for additional lines

If you need extra lines of unlimited data, each of the big four has a crop of prices. Below are the monthly prices for one, two, three and four lineage bundles .

Comparison of extra lines of unlimited data with autopay discounts applied

Carrier First line Cost Second line cost Third line cost Fourth line cost Total monthly cost for four lines
T-Mobile Essentials $60 $30 $15 $15 $120
Sprint Unlimited Basic $60 $40 $20 $20 $140
T-Mobile One $70 $50 $20 $20 $160
AT&T Unlimited &More $70 $55 $20 $15 $160
Sprint Unlimited Plus $70 $50 $30 $30 $170
Verizon “gounlimited” $75 $55 $20 $10 $160
AT&T Unlimited &More Premium $80 $70 $20 $20 $190
T-Mobile One Plus $80 $60 $30 $30 $200
Verizon “beyondunlimited” $85 $75 $20 $20 $200
Sprint Unlimited Premium $90 $70 $50 $50 $260
Verizon “aboveunlimited” $95 $85 $30 $30 $240

Unlimited prepaid

All four carriers offer postpaid plans with unlimited data. For a more detail comparison of prepay plans from both major and regional carriers read our roundup of the best postpaid radio receiver plans for 2018 .

Comparison prepaid outright data plans with autopay discount rate applied

Carrier Data limit Video streaming (up to) Hotspot allowance Monthly cost
AT&T Unlimited 22GB per month 480p SD none $55
Sprint Forward Unlimited 23GB per month 1080p HD 10GB $60
T-Mobile One Prepaid 10GB per month 480p SD Up to data allotment $70
Verizon prepaidunlimited None 480p SD 3G data speeds only $75
AT&T Unlimited Plus 22GB per month 1080p HD 10GB $75

HD video vs. SD video

here ‘s where things get slippery. Despite all these plans being outright, the carriers cheapest plans limit the video you stream to 480p standard definition — think DVD quality. That means if you ‘re on T-Mobile Essentials, T-Mobile One, Sprint Unlimited Basic, AT & T Unlimited & More or Verizon gounlimited that streaming videos will not in HD. It would be such a bummer to have a Galaxy S9 with its gorgeous 2,960×1,440-pixel blind and only to be able to watch video at less than one-tenth the resoluteness. But if you pay more, and are on AT & T Unlimited & More premium, Sprint Unlimited Plus, Sprint Unlimited Premium and T-Mobile One Plus the carriers let you use the outright data you bought to stream video at 1080p HD resoluteness. Verizon ‘s higher cost beyondunlimited and aboveunlimited plans let you stream at HD, but it ‘s only 720p .netflix-app-7922-001.jpg Josh Miller/CNET

Mobile hotspot data

All carriers offer hotspots with LTE data speeds, but not all plans do. besides, keep in mind there are limits on how much data you can use. Sprint ‘s unlimited Premium design gives you 50GB of hot spot LTE datum. T-Mobile One and Verizon ‘s gounlimited give you unlimited mobile hot spot streaming at 3G speeds. AT & T Unlimited & More gives you nothing .

  • Sprint Unlimited Premium — 50GB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • Verizon aboveunlimited — 20GB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • Verizon beyondunlimited — 15GB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • AT&T Unlimited &More Premium — 15GB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • Sprint Unlimited Plus — 15GB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • T-Mobile One Plus — 10GB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • Sprint Unlimited Basic — 500MB per month of mobile hotspot LTE data
  • Verizon gounlimited — hotspot access at 3G data speeds
  • T-Mobile One — hotspot access only at 3G data speeds
  • T-Mobile Essentials — hotspot access only at 3G data speeds
  • AT&T Unlimited &More — no mobile hotspot data

Unlimited plan savings

I recommend checking carrier websites from time to fourth dimension for deals and discounts on inexhaustible data plans. For exercise, Sprint presently offers a $ 20 discount per month, per line on its Unlimited Basic plan when you bring your own device or buy one outright. Carriers besides offer discounts for members of the military, veterans and their families .

The final word

It is rightfully fantastic to have unlimited data options from all four major US carriers. This comparison of costs and features is just part of the bigger picture though. Keep in mind early factors that will hit your wallet : the cost of the earphone, strain warranties, taxes, surcharges and activation fees — the survive three of which T-Mobile has folded into its pricing. It ‘s besides deserving considering network coverage and the quality of that coverage, excessively. But before you do anything, take a look at how a lot cellular datum you ‘re presently using. There ‘s no need to be on an inexhaustible plan, if you do n’t use lots of data. hera are links to each carrier ‘s inexhaustible plans : dash, AT & T, T-Mobile, Verizon.

Best prepaid radio plans for 2018 : Verizon, AT & T, Sprint, Boost and more compared. Unlocked phones vs. locked : Everything you need to know .

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Category : Finance